Scott MacKay

Political Analyst

With a B.A. in political science and history from the University of Vermont and a wealth of knowledge of local politics, it was a given that Scott MacKay would become a commentator for Rhode Island Public Radio's Political Roundtable.

As a former political reporter for The Providence Journal, MacKay has spent more than thirty years documenting the ins and outs of politics in Rhode Island and New England. MacKay is married to Dr. Staci Fisher, an infectious diseases specialist.

Follow Scott on Twitter: @ScotMackRI

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Update: Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee and Rhode Island’s senior senator, issued this statement via spokesman Chip Unruh on the hiring of Rhode Island union construction workers at the Electric Boat expansion projects at Quonset:

RIPR FILE

R.I. politicians love to talk about job-development plans. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why they aren’t  doing more to ensure that Rhode Islanders are hired for the Electric Boat expansion in Quonset.

Richard Baccari, Sr. the head of development company Churchill and Banks, is stepping down after forty years with the company.  Churchill and Banks rose to prominence developing supermarkets across the state, as well as the Lincoln Mall, and T.F. Green Airport parking lot

Once again it is time – if you haven’t already - to get your tickets to the  Providence Newspaper’s Guild’s annual Follies show at the Venus de Milo in Swansea, Mass. As always the show, a spoof of all things Rhode Island, but especially our state’s entertaining political culture,  is slated for the last Friday evening in February, which this year falls on Feb. 27th.

The snow forecast for tonight and tomorrow has led to postponement of Sunday’s scheduled Station Fire Foundation Memorial service at West Warwick High School. The service was slated for 1 p.m.

The observance in the memory of the 100 who died in the Feb. 20, 2003 Station nightclub fire will be rescheduled for a date and time that will be announced soon, according to a spokesman for the organizers.

Oh,  the delicious ironies of Rhode Island politics: Gov. Gina Raimondo posed with a flock of mayors and local officials this afternoon to tout her new executive order that is meant to help Rhode Island cities and towns save money.

As part of her executive order, Lt. Gov. Dan McKee, the former Cumberland mayor, will lead an effort to talk to municipal leaders and get their ideas for saving taxpayer dollars, according to RIPR’s report by our political reporter, the intrepid Ian Donnis.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Once again, a Rhode Island General Assembly member has been arrested.Rhode Island Public Radio's political analyst Scott MacKay on why the charges against Rep. Joseph Almeida don’t fit the usual pattern.

The Rhode Island state police have nabbed Providence State Rep. Almeida for allegedly misappropriating about $6,000 in campaign money for personal use.

Gov. Gina Raimondo is establishing a "RI Pay Equity Tip Line"  so that Rhode Islanders can report employers who violate the state law that bans gender-based wage discrimination.

The tip line, at 401-462-9243, is run by the state Department of Labor and Training. DLT is the agency that enforces labor laws and investigates wage complaints and hiring discrimination.

"In Rhode Island we want to make sure work pays," said Raimondo in a news release. "Ensuring paycheck fairness is important for women, it creates opportunities for families, and it strengthens the economy."

Mayor Jorge Elorza has announced that Providence Schools will be closed tomorrow, Monday, February 9, in anticipation of a snow storm.

In a statement just released, Elorza also said that a citywide parking ban will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

The actions are in response to a winter storm forecast from the National Weather Service. All public after school activities in the capital city are also canceled.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Big changes are in the offing for Rhode Island public education policy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what’s at stake.

After six years as Rhode Island’s top education guru, education commissioner Deborah Gist is headed to her native Tulsa to become school superintendent. Eva-Marie Mancuso, chairwoman of the state education board, is out. Barbara Cottam is slated to become the new leader of the board as Gov. Gina Raimondo puts her stamp on arguably the most important mission of government, educating  the young.

In a sign of the continuing financial struggles within  Rhode Island’s golf industry, members of the Pawtucket Country Club have voted to sell the legendary  course to three members who have pledged to keep the course open and make capital investments to upgrade the 113-year old club.

The three purchasing members are David Rampone, Benny Martin and Gary Reis, according to a club statement.

File/Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Islanders have been transfixed lately by snow drifts and the Super Bowl. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time to look ahead to spring and the return of baseball.

Has dealing with that white mountain in your driveway reminded you that one never has to shovel humidity? Do you yearn for a sport where the balls can be scuffed, but not deflated?

In case you haven’t had enough Super Bowl hype, here’s one more thing for New England fans to chew on: Roger Staubach, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback who was MVP of Super Bowl Vi in 1972, is predicting the Pats to defeat Seattle Sunday.

Staubach, who is now in the commercial real estate business as executive chairman of JLL, said in a news release that he expects a close game but that New England will emerge the winner.

Gov. Gina Raimondo, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian and Green State Airport officials will announce today that the new airline flying from the airport will be TACV Cabo Verde, the national carrier of Cape Verde, which will offer flights to Portugal, the Azores and Cape Verde, sources tell Rhode Island Public Radio.

The announcement is scheduled for this afternoon at the airport. TACV is the second airline since September to disclose plans to fly from Green. In September, Condor Airlines officials said they planned to offer seasonal flights to Germany.

Dr. Stanley Aronson, the founding dean of Brown University’s Alpert School of Medicine, a prolific writer, advocate for community organizations and one of Rhode Island’s most prominent public intellectuals,  died this morning. He was 92.

Aronson, whose career spanned more than 70 years, was a world-renowned doctor, medical researcher and leader in medical education. A genial, generous man, Aronson served as mentor to generations of physicians and medical students.

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